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From time to time, Ruth Mariam drives by the house she moved out of eight years ago and thinks, “I miss you.” But Ruth realizes now that it wouldn’t be a good place for her. “I would be lonely,” she says. “I would just be sitting around looking at four walls.”

Instead, 88-year-old Ruth lives an involved and social life at Covenant House/CHAI Apartments. “Keeping busy and having friends is what keeps me alive,” she says. “Originally, I thought no way am I going to move in with these old people, but Covenant house has been good for me.”

The product of a unique partnership of B’nai B’rith and B’nai B’rith Women St. Louis Councils, Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Center and Jewish Center for Aged, the complex was established in 1973 to provide quality, affordable housing to older adults in the greater St. Louis area.

Covenant House provides many programs to support seniors and keep them healthy, independent and active. Ruth participates in several—she is the chaplain of the Tenant Council, counts money for the nutrition department, plays and sings in the chimes group, and plans to take computer lessons. “I like it here,” she says. “I have made more friends than I have ever had—the people here are not just neighbors, they’re all friends.”